Now that my Glowforge is here , one of the projects I wanted to tackle initially was the Settlers of Catan board. Looking through the people who have attempted this project, it looks like painting/staining the wood prior to engraving might be the best looking results (rather than getting different species of wood for the resources).
Either a water based or an acrylic based stain would do… I am going to run some tests to see which one will look better.
In double checking the wood stain, I looked through the SDS for one of them:
Titanium dioxide 13463-67-7 10 - 30 by weight 236-675-5
Nepheline Syenite 37244-96-5 10 - 30 by weight
Silica, amorphous - diatomaceous earth 61790-53-2 5 - 10 by weight
Ethylene glycol 107-21-1 1 - 5 by weight 203-473-3
Looks like all those are safe to laser as far as I can tell.